Turkey in the grips of terrorism

At least 14 soldiers were killled in yet another terrorist attack in Turkey on Saturday. The government in Ankara blames the PKK. Since it reignited in 2015 the Kurdish conflict has claimed around 2,400 victims, the NGO International Crisis Group estimates. Commentators complain that supporters of democracy in Turkey no longer have any breathing space and call on Ankara to push for an international solution to the conflict.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Democratic Turks and Kurds are the losers

The spiral of violence between Kurdish extremists and the Turkish government is destroying all hope of peaceful coexistence, writer Elif Şafak complains in The Guardian:

“There can be no excuse for terrorism. At the same time, the AKP government must stop using vindictive, divisive language. The peace process that collapsed in 2015 must be re-initiated before it is too late for everyone. The PKK is playing a very dangerous game in Turkey. They seem to want Kurds, including apolitical Kurds, to feel uncomfortable in major Turkish cities and the two people to fall increasingly apart. Hardliners on both sides will benefit from such polarisation. Meanwhile, Turkish and Kurdish democrats are sandwiched between extremities, unable to challenge the insanity of ultranationalism, unable to breathe.”

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

PKK also hindering democracy

Together the PKK and the Turkish government leave no room for democratic politics, Hürriyet Daily News observes:

“It is also the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) strategy of terror and violence which legitimizes and justifies the politics of security and therefore undermines democratic politics. We have to admit that there is no space left for democratic politics in Turkey not only because of authoritarian state/government politics but also because of the Kurdish politics of violence. Leaving aside democratic politics, terror attacks, or 'armed struggle' as they call it, endangers social peace and paves the way for a nationalist backlash and possible civil war. As Kurdish aggression ruins the credibility of democratic politicians and democrats, the reluctance of democrats who support Kurdish rights and freedoms to denounce the violent ways of Kurdish politics further tarnishes the image of democrats and weakens their political position.”

Karar (TR) /

Terrorism problem demands international solution

The PKK's terrorism can only be fought with international help, the conservative daily Karar stresses:

“The time has come to sit down at a table and discuss a realistic agenda with the US, against whose support for the [Syrian-Kurdish] PYD we protest, with Russia, which has opened a PKK office [sic!], and with Europe, whose ambivalent stance on terror we reject. To explain our objectives, to leave the table with the words and mechanisms of a joint battle is the only effective weapon against the PKK's terror right now. We need to at least weaken its temporary and permanent alliances. … If we don't combat terror abroad with diplomatic and political instruments it will be impossible to find a permanent solution in Turkey. In other words we must immediately return to politics, win friends and reduce the number of our enemies.”